Among a recent list from the S&P Outlook newsletter, three major media companies have underfunded pension plans that soon could become big problem.
According to Mark Hulbart, writing on MarketWatch.com, CBS, News Corp. and Time Warner, are on a list of nine companies where the capital needed to fully fund the pension plans could become a drag on the stock. Time Warner Cable is in there, too.
To put the amount of money in perspective, MarketWatch writes:
According to S&P, for example, the present value of future obligations of DB plans among the 500 companies in the S&P 500 index totaled $1.4 trillion at the end of 2008. That tidy sum represents about a fifth of the combined market cap of all 500 companies.
Not surprisingly, the bear market that began in October 2007 has dramatically reduced the value of the assets that these 500 companies have collectively allocated to fund those obligations. In fact, according to S&P, those assets at the end of 2008 were worth just $1.1 trillion.
The others on the S&P list:
•Eastman Kodak Co
•General Motors Corp
•Kraft Foods Inc
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